Unique Kenyan Bird Given Highest Level of Global Protection

  • Undated image of the African grey parrot in a cage in Pretoria, South Africa
    Undated image of the African grey parrot in a cage in Pretoria, South Africa
    Africa Geographic
  • A unique Kenyan bird under threat from poachers and hunters was placed under tight security following recommendations from experts.

    The endangered African Grey Parrot in Kenya was found to be threatened after an expose revealed a thriving online illegal trade that seeks to trade the bird.

    After this discovery, the bird was accorded the highest level of protection globally, according to a report by British publication, The Independent.

    The African grey parrot was also listed as an endangered species by the International Union of Conservation and Nature (IUCN) and ranked as the world’s most traded bird even as it faces extinction.

    Undated image of two African grey parrots taken at an unknown location
    Undated image of two African grey parrots taken at an unknown location
    Guardian

    The bird was accorded the highest level of protection under Appendix 1 of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

    After being listed as an endangered species the bird was banned from being traded locally or internationally. 

    An expose discovered that the bird was among the wildlife that was being traded illegally online and it was being sold for as little as Ksh500 for delivery in Nairobi and Ksh700 to Naivasha.

    A local website was also put on the spot for allowing users to sell the birds on the site right under the watch of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). The birds were being sold between Ksh25,000 and Ksh30,000. 

    KWS has been at the forefront of fighting wildlife crimes in the country but with the evolving technology, the sale of animals has been taken to the dark web and e-commerce platforms making it hard for them to track criminals.

    According to a Senior Criminal Justice advisor, Katto Wambua, criminals are now exploiting the internet with the knowledge that investigators are not well equipped to probe these crimes and bring charges against them.

    “While some websites are not based in Kenya, many others operate on the dark web and it needs a lot of skills to prosecute these crimes,” Wambua stated.

    The Computer Misuse and Cybercrime Act gave room for Kenya to move ahead and bring charges against people selling wildlife online without permits.

    Undated image of KWS rangers on patrol
    Undated image of KWS rangers on patrol
    File
    criminal probe illegal fight